Gong Fu Chinese Tea Tasting 2 part

Welcome to part 2 of the special Gongfu tea Chinese Tea Tasting 2 ceremony I hosted for a few friends.

It was the perfect way to enjoy the 5 tea samples I received from Teavivre. Make sure to check Gong Fu Chinese Tea Tasting 2 part 1 to learn more about all the teas we tried and about the Gong Fu tea way!

I thought I would start of this post with a silly shot…perhaps I will regret it lol. But this my readers is what happens when you drink too much good tea and introduce a Tibetan Singing Bowl to the mix. I recently took a Tibetan Singing Bowl workshop and basically ran out to buy one that following week. This is us being silly with the said bowl, left to right top, and then bottom: Sandra, Melanie, Evelyne, Michele and (discreet) Rebecca.

girls

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Gong Fu Chinese Tea Tasting part 1

I had an incredible eye opening experience. And I have to admit I never thought I would say this following a Chinese Tea Tasting, but I was left in awe after trying 5 very high grade tea samples from Teavivre. A high quality tea is so much more refined, pure and crisp. An excellent tea is like enjoying a top vintage wine. I will never be able to look at the boxed stuff or tea chain stores the same way again.

Since this tea tasting was a rather unique opportunity, I decided to host my bastardized version of a Gongfu tea ceremony with the tools I had and a few friends. You can read more about the real traditional Gong Fu ceremony here but I will give you a quick resume here as well.

teavivre tea leaves

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Roux what, roux who, roux you!

As I was writing my guest blog for another site (will be published Aug 28th) I was traveling down memory lane of foods I have eaten on my travels. While reviewing my tasty adventures in New Orleans I came across a text on Roux. No I am not talking about some hot french red head guy. I am talking about a very essential part of French cooking, particularly in sauces.

I only really learned about it while in New Orleans. I had taken a tourist cooking class to learn about Cajun cooking at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Yep the big guy, Kevin,  on the site is the one who gave the class. I got to find that cookbook I bought fro there, not for the diet conscious but so good.

Anyways, back to roux, Kevin taught us to make roux in a recipe for Jambalaya. So what is roux? As per Wiki…roux is a cooked mixture of flourfat, traditionally clarified butter. It is the thickening agent of four of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: and sauce béchamel, sauce velouté, allemande sauce, and sauce espagnole. Butter, vegetable oils, or lard are common fats used. It is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews. It is typically made equal parts of flour and fat by weight.

Flour and fat…sounds so sexy! Ok maybe not but oh my what a difference a roux makes to a recipe. Like it can make a normal sauce phenomenal! I am not kidding. And here are the other advantages of it: it does not have to be cooked very long to remove a floury taste and clumps of flour are removed. Lumpy sauces are definitely NOT sexy. One can make white roux, blond roux,brown roux,or dark roux.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • the longer you cook it the darker the roux, which will have more taste. Just keep in mind also that the darker roux the less thickening power it will have.
  • To use roux add liquid to it, stirring it in as you go. Don’t go the other way as you will get lumps.
  • A good roux will have a slight shine to it
  • If black specks appear in the roux, it has burned and you’ll have to start over.

OK so ready to try it?

Here is a basic Roux recipe

1/2 cup of each of  flour and butter

Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Off the heat, add the flour all at once. Mix well and cook to desired color, stirring constantly to prevent burning. This may take between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the roux you desire to achieve.

Have fun with your roux!

Hugs and Biscuits
Evelyne